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Topic: The question all 24 434 Members of the Magic Café want to ask you !
Message: Posted by: Mago Gregorio (Apr 23, 2006 06:24PM)
Regarding the number of posts where ETMCM is listed as one of the favourite / best DVD serie ever, the question is : when will we get the 10th DVD ?? WHEN ??

Thank's for all you've done in teaching this marvelous art.
Message: Posted by: Michael Ammar (Apr 26, 2006 01:40PM)
That's a good question! It really depends on whether or not I can pull together a list of effects that would be as good as what has already been done. I think it's fair to say that all the low hanging fruit has already been picked! Putting together a list of 12 effects that are all killer effects that haven't been touched on in one way or another isn't easy.

When it comes to the CARD MIRACLES, I'd like to do a double volume on card effects that can be done in stand up situations. Effects that would play for 30 people to 300, and while I've started a list, I'm pretty far from being finished with it.
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Apr 26, 2006 04:07PM)
Aloha Michael,

Funny you should mention standup material for 300 or so, I just played the Aloha Theater where you were, I think it was a year ago. For those who don't know, this is the 300+ seat theater in Kona, on the island of Hawaii. I thought you'd like to know that the people are still talking about the "guy who did the rubber bands" (on stage!) and they proudly showed me the two cards you stuck to the ceiling there.

So, to end with a question, do you have any thoughts to share on what makes an effect work on stage? In particular, how do you make close up material work for groups of 300 or more?
Message: Posted by: Michael Ammar (Apr 27, 2006 12:12PM)
ALOHA CURTIS!

It was a real treat getting to see you again last year! Wow, what a nice time we had during our visit to Hawaii!

Yeah, as I'm sure you know, it takes a lot of nerve to do rubber bands for 300 people! But then again, it actually worked -- that theater had nice visibility, with a tapered floor and all that, which is important for that particular effect. The problem is when you have a flat floor, so that people can't see your whole body as you perform the effect. I think that in a lot of cases, you can use your whole body to communicate what is happening there, so even when you know they shouldn't be able to even SEE the bands, they can still fully understand the effect.

I remember seeing Irv Weiner years ago come to colleges in West Virginia, where he would play for 1,000 or more people, and he would open his show with the T & R Cig paper. It was a real lesson in playing something BIG. Everything Irv did fit inside his briefcase, so as I look at what I do today, I realize that Irv was probably the performer whose style had the most influence to what I am doing today.

I have a lot of respect for those guys who travel with huge trucks full of props, but I remember seeing Bill Cosby come to WVU years ago, and only using a chair and a mike to perform for 90 minutes for 5,000 people, and he got a standing ovation while just using words. So you know it can be done with just words alone.

I think one of the keys is to select material that has a very clear, distinct plot, so that what is going on is easy to follow. Also, it should either have a very concise process, or the process needs to be very entertaining or compelling, or you will lose their interest.

I don't think an audience needs to actually see everything as clearly as we might think, but they do need to understand completely what is happening, or you'll lose them.
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Apr 28, 2006 10:13AM)
That is very cool, doing a rubber band trick from the stage and making it work. REminds me of the Professor's story about T. Nelson Downs, how he captivated an entire circus crowd doing a trick with three matches. I find that amazing.